Du, pappa...

Published March 16, 2014

During the early months of 1975, I was one of about ten children from my school who were selected to appear in a weekly radio show for children. The show was called Godda–ajö ("Hello, Goodbye"). [One of the other boys in the Godda–ajö radio series was called Pauli Reinikainen. In the Eighties he had a brief career as a pop star in Sweden, using the name Paul Rein. Today he is an internationally successful songwriter, and co-wrote Christina Aguilera's US number one hit, 'Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)'.]

Later in the spring of 1975, one of the hosts, Mats Winqvist, was going to do another radio series entitled Ibland är man för stor, ibland är man för liten ("Sometimes You're Too Old, Sometimes You're Too Young"). The series consisted of conversations between Mats and his young daughter, Lotta, about the concerns, problems and thoughts of young children. These musings were interspersed with pop style songs written by Mats and mostly perfomed by Lotta. Quite good they were, too.

For some of the songs they needed the voice of a boy, however, and Mats asked me if I was interested. I was ten years old at the time, and I remember being a bit surprised. The other boys in that first radio series were quite a bit more lively and eager to show off than I was. For some reason, although I could be quite the leader type in school, I tended to be a bit more withdrawn when those radio programmes were taped.

However, I do remember one episode when they needed one of the boys to sing a particular well-known children's song. Two or three of the other boys claimed that they knew the song, but it turned out that they didn't. After they had all tried, the producers asked, "Is there really no-one who knows this song?" I said, "Well, I think I know it". And I did, and I ended up singing the song in the programme.

So perhaps the fact that I was able to deliver the songs - and didn't act in that typically boyishly noisy manner the rest of the time - was perceived as a useful quality for this new radio series. Anyway, I was offered the job and said yes. I ended up singing four songs in the radio series.

In the summer, it was decided that the series should be re-recorded for an album entitled Du, pappa... ("Hey, Dad...") to be released by EMI Records, and so, I recorded my four songs again. They were: 'Tjejer och killar' ("Girls And Boys", a duet with Lotta), 'Jag vill inte va tuff jämt' ("I Don't Want To Be Tough All The Time"), 'Man måste' ("You Have To"), and 'Jag är stor nu' ("I'm A Big Boy Now"). Click on the song titles to listen to the tracks. I also remember singing backing vocals on a song called 'Gröna små ärtor' ("Green Little Peas"). A curious note is that Swedish rappers Just D sampled a piece from this album and used it as an introduction to their 1993 hit 'Vart tog den söta lilla flickan vägen'. However, to the best of my knowledge they never sampled anything that I appeared on.

ABBA fans may find it a curiosity that two of the musicians appearing on the group's records also played on this album. They were drummer Ola Brunkert, who was ABBA's main drummer in the studio as well as on tour, and steel guitarist Jan Lindgren, who played on ABBA's 'Happy Hawaii'. Yes, folks, once upon a time Ola was my drummer as well! Another ABBA connection is that Bengt H. Malmqvist took the sleeve pics (including the one of me on the back of the sleeve); of course, he also took many well-known ABBA pictures, including the famous park-bench picture featured on the Greatest Hits album sleeve. Finally, the studio where the album was recorded, Polyvox, was formerly known as Ljudkopia, and this is where the backing track for 'Bang-A-Boomerang' was recorded; mixing work for 'Summer Night City' was also made on the premises.

The Du, pappa... album was released at the end of 1975, but that, sadly (?), turned out to be the start and end of my recording career. In 1996, however, a CD collection of some songs recorded by Mats and Lotta Winqvist over the years, För små och stora öron, was released by EMI (CMCD 6136). This CD included the duet 'Tjejer och killar'.

The Du, pappa... album is long out of print, but send me an e-mail (see "Contact" in the bottom left corner) and I may be able to help you with a digital version.

Thanks to Wouter Timmers for cleaning up and pieceing together the front and back of the album sleeve.